I am so sorry for your loss and troubles PD. I truly am. Thank you for sharing.
Apparently August was a bad month for us. I lost my father on August 14th. Long suffering from Heart Failure and Kidney Failure, it's good the suffering is over, it was an ugly death, they said it's worse suffering than cancer. I'd been taking care of him since May, once he could no longer walk or stand. His final decline began last November. He was the only person that I talked to on the phone, we were our last family connection. Everyone else was gone. He was the last of his generation. Now, my daughter and I are the last of my immediate family, the end of my surname. My world is much emptier now. It's strange that the phone no longer rings from his calling, and he's no longer there to share things we would. I've lost 17 friends and family members in two years. Oldest was 82, youngest was 28. Several in my age range among those gone. Parents, half-brother, cousins, high school friends, college friends, gone. I can count the few distant family members on one hand, most I haven't seen in 30 or 40 years. I always knew I'd have to watch everyone else die, but never expected it to happen so soon or so fast. I don't think of myself as old, though my daughter keeps telling me I am. There's not much left of my interpersonal world. And now I'm picking up the peices of their lives, before I can create a new life for myself. I am the repository of all the family history, all the family memories. Things like the bronzed baby shoes of my great grandmother. The gold nugget my great-great grandfather found in Alaska. Notes from ancestors that are unsigned, who knows who wrote them. My grandparents school grade reports, etc etc. I have memories of my great-grandparents, I knew a Civil War veteran that was captured and interred in a Confererate POW camp. (He said the prisoners were fed as well as the guards.....poorly. They ate grasshoppers.) It ends with me. My daughter didn't know our family, doesn't have the memories, and someday she will marry, and I will be the last of my name.
All those memories lost, like tears in the rain - Bladerunner
But I am trying not to live a self-pity party. Life goes on.
These are tough times. I have all that was left behind, a massive amount of work to take care of it all, sort it all, figure out what to do with it all. By myself, and for what purpose? It's a little lonely to be honest. And difficult given my disabilities/health. Many months of sorting things out lie ahead.
But, I am not grieving as badly as I expected. I grieved throughout his suffering, so the end was a moment of peace and relief. I heard the death rattle, watched his last breath.He did not fear death, it was not his nature. Nor did he want to be mourned. He did have a day of tears and regrets a few days before he passed. Both my parents before they died made a point of making sure I knew that they felt they lived a good life, were satisfied, and were proud of me. Grief is a very personal thing, and we all must travel that path in our own way. Let no one tell you how to grieve.
I was not satisfied with the obit that I wrote, but it was fine, others have complimented me on it. It's just that it's impossible to summarize a life in a paragraph. It's so insufficient, yet what more can you do?
I like these lyrics....
...father, I'm in need of your hand
so I can face the world bravely
and father, do you understand
what it is you mean to me
Like a warrior you always conquered
every battle you had to face
And through the hard times
when life was a bitter fight
it's you who would give
so unselfish you lived
A tribute to the world that blood
Is thicker than water
I'm tryin' to say that I love you
I'm tryin' to say that I miss you
I'll leave a paraphrased a note for everyone else, it's an old saying:
Enjoy and appreciate those close to you as long as you can. You never know when the Universe might need them back.